Brand new El­land Bridge up for award

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

IT was a bridge built over trou­bled wa­ters.

Now the year-long re­con­struc­tion of El­land Bridge – which was cat­a­stroph­i­cally dam­aged in the 2015 Box­ing Day floods – has been short­listed in the In­sti­tu­tion of Civil En­gi­neers (ICE) York­shire and Hum­ber Awards.

Calderdale Coun­cil worked with the Canal & River Trust, the char­ity that looks af­ter the Calder & Heb­ble Nav­i­ga­tion, to re­build the bridge as quickly as pos­si­ble with an ex­ten­sive pro­gramme of work cost­ing £4m.

The work, funded by the Depart­ment for Trans­port, in­volved build­ing two tem­po­rary bridges, redi­rect­ing more than 40 util­ity ser­vices and the care­ful re­moval and even­tual re­in­state­ment of the orig­i­nal stonework on the new struc­ture.

Built around 1811, the bridge is Grade II Listed, so the Trust’s teams painstak­ingly recorded and re­moved the masonry to make sure as much as pos­si­ble could be used in the new bridge.

This in­cluded the huge stone cop­ings on top of the bridge, the vous­soirs – dressed stones that form the arches – and the re­mains of cast iron rope rollers which en­sured boat tow ropes would not get snagged as they were pulled through.

The bridge re­opened to pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists in Jan­uary, 2017, and was fully re-opened to traf­fic last April by Trans­port Min­is­ter An­drew Jones.

The of­fi­cial open­ing was ac­com­pa­nied by a pho­to­graphic slideshow and talk hosted by Hal­i­fax Pho­to­graphic So­ci­ety show­ing the story of El­land Bridge since the Box­ing Day 2015 floods – as well as a chance to sam­ple a new beer spe­cially brewed by the nearby Barge & Bar­rel, aptly called Cel­e­bra­tion Ale.

Clr Barry Collins, Calderdale Coun­cil cab­i­net mem­ber for re­gen­er­a­tion and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, said: “Re­open­ing El­land Bridge was a ma­jor part of our flood re­cov­ery works in Calderdale, as it’s so im­por­tant for res­i­dents, busi­nesses, com­muters and tourism. “The coun­cil and the Canal & River Trust worked re­ally hard to re­con­nect the com­mu­nity and pro­vide a much stronger and more flood re­silient bridge, which will serve lo­cal peo­ple for many years to come. We’re re­ally pleased that this has re­ceived recog­ni­tion at a re­gional level.”

Judy Jones, her­itage ad­viser at the Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re de­lighted the hard work of ev­ery­one in­volved in re­build­ing El­land Bridge has been recog­nised with this award nom­i­na­tion.

“The new bridge was de­signed to look very sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal, pre­serv­ing as many of the im­por­tant his­toric fea­tures as pos­si­ble, but in­cor­po­rat­ing the strength of a con­crete arch. Now El­land canal bridge looks very fa­mil­iar to lo­cal peo­ple, re­tain­ing the scale of the orig­i­nal and able to with­stand the pres­sures of modern use.”

The ICE York­shire and Hum­ber Awards show­case out­stand­ing work by civil en­gi­neers across the re­gion.

The cer­e­mony takes on March 2 in Har­ro­gate. The El­land Bridge re­con­struc­tion

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